SAMOAN POLICE ARREST SIX VILLAGERS OVER LAND DISPUTE

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APIA, Samoa (June 25, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Samoan police have arrested and charged six villagers in connection with the slaughter of hundreds of cattle owned by the government.

The arrests follow disturbances on a government-run estate 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of the capital, Apia.

Last week, buildings, a residence and a truck on the estate were burned to the ground. Police and a government official were also fired on, in an on-going dispute over land boundaries.

Five of those arrested were from Satupuala village, one of three villagers involved in the dispute.

Up to half of the 1,000 beef cattle on the estate managed by the Western Samoa Trusts Estates Corporation were slaughtered and carcasses were left to rot.

Police commissioner Asi Blakelock says no further violence has occurred.

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